The Citizen Lab and Access Now have confirmed 35 cases of journalists and members of civil society whose phones were successfully infected with NSO’s Pegasus spyware between July 2020 and November 2021. We shared a sample of forensic data with Amnesty International’s Security Lab which independently confirms the findings.
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Citizen Lab researchers were able to identify over a thousand web addresses used to deliver Pegasus spyware to the phones of targets in 45 countries. Pegasus, developed by Israel’s NSO Group, claims it is used against terrorists and criminals, but an analysis by Bill Marczak found evidence of Pegasus spyware on a phone belonging Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle.
بواسطة: بيل مارزاك، جون سكوت-رايلتون، بحر عبد الرزاق، نورا الجيزاوي، سيينا أنستيس، كريستين بردان، ورون ديبرت. النتائج الرئيسية تم اختراق معارضَين مصريين في المنفى؛ وهما السياسي أيمن نور، ومقدم برنامج شهير (والذي يرغب بألا يفصح عن هويته). تم الاختراق بواسطة برنامج التجسس بريداتور (Predator)، والذي تم تطويره وبيعه بواسطة Cytrox لتطوير برامج التجسس المرتزقة، وهي… Read more »
Two Egyptians—exiled politician Ayman Nour and the host of a popular news program (who wishes to remain anonymous)—were hacked with Predator spyware, built and sold by the previously little-known mercenary spyware developer Cytrox. The phone of Ayman Nour was simultaneously infected with both Cytrox’s Predator and NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, operated by two different government clients.
Front Line Defenders’ analysis indicated that six devices belonging to six Palestinian human rights defenders were hacked with Pegasus, a spyware developed by the cyber-surveillance company NSO Group. Both the Citizen Lab and Amnesty International’s Security Lab independently confirmed these findings.
Our forensic analysis of two iPhones belonging to Hubbard found evidence of Pegasus infections in July 2020 and June 2021. Notably, these infections occurred after Hubbard reported in January 2020 that we found that he was targeted in 2018 by the Saudi Arabia-linked Pegasus operator that we call KINGDOM.
We identified nine Bahraini activists whose iPhones were successfully hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware between June 2020 and February 2021. The hacked activists included three members of Waad (a secular Bahraini political society), three members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, two exiled Bahraini dissidents, and one member of Al Wefaq (a Shiite Bahraini political society).
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International requested that the Citizen Lab undertake an independent peer review of a sample of their forensic evidence and their general forensic methodology. We were provided with iTunes backups of several devices and a separate methodology brief, and independently validated that Amnesty International’s forensic methodology correctly identified infections with NSO’s Pegasus spyware.
New York Times journalist Ben Hubbard was targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware via a June 2018 SMS message promising details about “Ben Hubbard and the story of the Saudi Royal Family.” The SMS contained a hyperlink to a website used by a Pegasus operator that we call KINGDOM. We have linked KINGDOM to Saudi Arabia. In 2018, KINGDOM also targeted Saudi dissidents including Omar Abdulaziz, Ghanem al-Masarir, and Yahya Assiri, as well as a staff member at Amnesty International.
The Citizen Lab has sent an open letter to Francisco Partners in light of the apparent misuse of NSO Group’s technology– a company in which we believe Francisco Partners has a majority stake– and to request timely action in regards to issues raised in previous correspondence.